Over the last couple of weeks, a bunch of people in the autistic blogging community have participated in a flashblog event called “Autistic people are”. The event unfolded in two waves. In the first one, the bloggers took on “autistic people should”, and it was really well-executed. Autistic bloggers took to the web to tell one another what they thought we should be doing, or what we should have access to, and the allies we have in the parenting community were respectful, listening to the discussion without pushing their ideas about what we should do or be on us. The next week (this past weekend), the group took on “autistic people are”, and in that second round, the parents, friends, and other allies were invited to join in so that there could be as many voices as possible sending out positive messages about who and what we are, what we are doing, and what the public image of those with autism should be. Then, Autism Speaks decided to announce the good news. Except that they did not think it was necessary to point out that autistic bloggers actually spoke despite that being, you know, the supposed point of their group. In fact, their two-sentence blurb not only erased the fact that autistic bloggers did this, they threw the phrase “hate speech” into scare quotes like I just did, which manages to make it look like they didn’t really think that the offending results were hate speech. Then they tagged the post with tags about the Newtown shooting.
One of the organizing bloggers for the flashblog called attention to this in a post, and Autism Speaks sent in one of their spokespuppies to try to smooth things over, but all he did was play stupid. So, we did what any activist worth their salt would do, and brought it back to the community, who took the fight to Autism Speaks’ Facebook page. We also wrote more extensively on our feelings about the fact that Autism Speaks is too busy speaking to bother listening to autistic voices. Quoted from the link. Autism speaks does not speak for me!!